Moving is undoubtedly one of the most stressful times of your life. From decluttering the space to safely relocating your belongings to the new place, the entire process comes with burden. It can be particularly distressing when you do not have the right moving company on board to manage the relocation affairs for you.
Learn and plan the moving process in advance if you do not want any surprises during the big move. A moving Certificate of Insurance is one of the most important things you must know before you even begin. This, right here, is the reason we have written this detailed article for you to understand what a COI is, why it is required and how you can acquire one.
1. What Is a Certificate of Insurance and Why Is It Important?
Simply put, a Certificate of Insurance for moving is an insurance coverage required by the building management to move your belongings to, within, and from their property.
COI is a legal document that your moving company obtains from its insurance company and issues to the building management to protect you (the client) and itself (the moving company) in case of property damages.
Getting a COI is crucial because some buildings do not even allow bringing packages into the premises, so forget about moving.
The COI provides confidence to the building management that your selected moving company is insured and will be able to cover the property damages, if any, with its insurance coverage.
Imagine a situation where your move is underway, and your moving company somehow ends up damaging the building? This is the reason why it is important to get a Certificate of Insurance beforehand to ensure that your mover is insured and avoid paying a hefty sum for property damages.
1a. What Information Is Included in a Moving COI?
A moving Certificate of Insurance contains the relevant details for granting a permission to move belongings to, within, or from the building. Your building manager has access to that information, including a sample COI.
Here’s a list of what is included in a Certificate of Insurance for moving:
- Building Address – the COI contains the address of the building you’re moving out from as well as the new building you’re moving into.
- Details of Building Manager – it includes the name, office address and necessary contact details of the authorized building managers.
- Confirmation of Insurance – the Certificate of Insurance for moving also specifies that the moving company is insured to handle the move in a particular building.
- Insurance Coverage – the COI also states the details of what is covered in the insurance and how this certificate must be used by the moving company and building management in case of any damages.
Some other information included in the COI is:
- Date of issuance;
- Details of insurance company;
- Specific policy held by the moving company and its expiration date;
- Coverage period;
- Notice and conditions of cancellation;
- Signature of issuing authority.
1b. What Does a Moving COI Cover?
COI covers multiple aspects of the moving process to win over the confidence of building management. Although, the building management for every building may have different coverage requirements, but the most common coverage areas in a COI include:
- Types of Coverage – overall umbrella coverage for unforeseen events that may cause harm to the property, compensation for workers in case of injury, cargo insurance, automotive liability for drivers against damages caused by them during the move.
- Amount of Coverage – on an average most COIs provide a coverage worth 1-2 million US$ per move, although the amount may vary depending on coverage plan that your move has, building requirements, and the value of stuff being moved.
1c. Do I Really Need A COI?
If you’re moving into a new or luxurious building with modern architecture, generally, your building manager will require a COI.
If you’re really unsure whether the building you’re moving to or from requires a Certificate of Insurance, contact the building manager and get it sorted in advance.
A pro-tip from our experts? While not all buildings require a COI, it is always a good idea to ask your moving company for one just to be on the safe side.
2. How Do I Acquire A COI?
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can acquire a Certificate of Insurance from your moving company.
- Confirm with your building manager whether or not they need a COI.
- If they do need one, make sure to get all requirements – including the type and amount of insurance coverage they need. The best way is to ask them for a COI sample.
- Provide your chosen moving company with all requirements shared by the building manager to get a comprehensive moving Certificate of Insurance. The best way is to share the COI sample from your building manager.
- Once the moving company has all the details, they send it to their insurance company.
- Upon receiving this document from the moving company, the insurer generates a COI based on the requirements and issues it to your moving company.
- As soon as the COI is received from the insurance company, your movers will send it to you.
- Make sure to send it to your building management to assure them that your chosen movers are insured and the COI meets all requirements put forth by them.
2a. How Can I Request a Copy of COI From My Moving Company?
Good moving companies make the process of getting a Certificate of Insurance as simple as possible for you.
As soon as you get the COI requirements from your building manager, share them to your moving company right away to speed up the process.
2b. How Much Does It Cost to Get A COI?
Every company charges differently for issuing a COI. Usually the cost ranges between $50 to $100 per COI . Always check the charges with your moving company in advance as not all movers charge for it, and you may be able to save that amount.
2c. How Long Does It Take To Get A COI?
Since the moving company is managing multiple clients at once, it’s best to inform the movers about your moving Certificate of Insurance requirements a few days in advance.
This will give them ample time to process your COI and save you from unpleasant surprises on the day of the move.
The timeline of issuance depends on the broker or agent of your mover. Generally, it takes 15-20 minutes to generate a COI, but it’s better to not leave it to the last minute.
2d. What Happens if I Don’t Request the Necessary Certificate of Insurance When I Book My Move?
Imagine having to pay for accidental damage caused to the building during your move. Yes, we know it sounds unfortunate, but it may happen because not everything is in the hands of your mover.
This is the reason you must always request the moving company for a Certificate of Insurance upon booking.
Put a COI request with your moving company even if the building management has not asked for it. It will protect both you and the movers in case of any damages caused to the building during the move.
2e. Additional Tips Before You Go for a Moving COI
Now that you know all necessary details surrounding the COI, here are some additional tips to simplify the process further for you:
- Always get the COI from your moving company and send it to the building manager ahead of the move. It will help you and the moving company save time and delays.
- Always check that the COI fulfills all requirements of the building management. From the amount of the insurance to the type of insurance coverage, each detail must be stated clearly.
3. Moving Process & COI
3a. What happens if there is damage during the move?
As long as you have a moving Certificate of Insurance, you must not worry about any damages that may occur during the move.
In case of damage, the moving company will be liable to meet the minimum insurance requirements. For example, if you were moving heavy large items like a piano or a pool table, and walls or floors of the building were damaged, make sure to immediately contact the building manager and estimate the amount of property damage. The insurance company will then pay the amount from the insurance coverage of your movers.
3b. Building Restrictions
When planning your move, keep in mind the restrictions imposed by building management. Before giving a quote, good moving companies always talk about building restrictions. Based on our experience, we advise you to look out for the following restrictions::
- Some buildings do not allow moving over the weekend or only allow moves on weekdays during certain hours. So make sure to check this with your building manager;
- Use of protective equipment such as elevator blankets is made mandatory by some buildings, particularly the luxurious ones, to cover and protect the elevator walls;
- Provide details of the moving company to the building manager along with COI and indemnity form;
- Tiled floors must be protected with stiff load distribution sheeting to avoid damages.